how to get sharper photos by D5100?

Started Feb 19, 2013 | Discussions thread
Tony_J Junior Member • Posts: 38
Re: how to get sharper photos by D5100?

It's not the camera. It's your lens, or more specifically, how you're using your lens. I also have a D5100 with kit, and for optimal sharpness, you need to stop down to f/8. Even f/6.3 or f/7.1 I find to be slightly unsharp. Stopping down further, e.g. f/11, won't change your image a whole lot, but past that diffraction kicks in and robs sharpness. So I recommend using the 18-55 mainly at f/8-11 if you can. (Of course, this advice does not apply to portraits or low-light, when you do want the shallow aperture.)

Also, given the high pixel density of the D5100, you may want to consider refining your technique, by using a tripod even for day shots, since even the smallest shake is magnified greatly. To do so, just turn VR off and set it on a tripod. For even better sharpness, get a remote (about $1.50 on eBay for a knockoff) so you don't have to touch the camera when releasing the shutter, and use mirror lockup (called "exposure delay mode" on the D5100) to minimize vibrations from the mirror. Of course, this is only to squeeze out the last bit of sharpness in its 16 MP sensor, and if any of this advice prevents you from getting the shot, then throw it all out the window.

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